When the new World Trade Centre is finished, New York’s skyline will look a little something like this.
There’s been a gaping hole in the city’s iconic postcard view ever since the attacks of September 11 destroyed the Twin Towers ten years ago. More than take down the buildings, the attacks killed almost 3000 people. For many of them, the site remains their graveyard.
For an outsider like myself, at first it’s hard to see that, beyond the rubble and construction, this is what it really is – a crime scene and a cemetery of those who were killed on that day. Many of those who are involved in the rebuilding of Ground Zero that I have spoken to have pointed this out. There’s this acute awareness that this is hallowed ground.
These 16 acres of hallowed ground make up the new World Trade Centre complex. It’s taken a long time to get to this stage – some say too long – but this weekend the first element of this complex will open, the 9/11 Memorial.
It’s part of the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, but the latter part will only open this time next year. Architect Michael Arad won an international competition to come up with the design, which is two reflective pools, in the footprints of where the Twin Towers each stood, with man-made water falls, and a plaza of 400 trees surrounding them. On the sides of the pools, engraved in bronze, are the names of the 2983 people killed on September 11 2001, and also during the 1993 WTC bombing. The names have been arranged according to requests from family members or work affiliates, so that they reflect the relationships those who died had to each other.
Here is Arad talking about the design of the Memorial and the site, which he calls “a scar that will heal and become part of [our] city.”
Architecture buff and executive producer of Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero, Danny Forster says it is a site “not about 9/11 but 9/12, what comes after.” He offers some great insight into how he thinks the Memorial, and indeed the new WTC will change Lower Manhattan.
The documentary, which was also executive produced by Steven Spielberg and airs on the Discovery Channel, gives great insight into the stories behind all the steel and scaffolding. It also explains how everything is going to look right about the end of 2016.